Che -Guevara

Israel Humbled as America sends more weapons

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All news that is fit to print except dear Zionist terrorists:


Amid the internal battle over the New York Times’s coverage of Israel’s war, top editors handed down a set of directives.

THE NEW YORK TIMES instructed journalists covering Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip to restrict the use of the terms “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” and to “avoid” using the phrase “occupied territory” when describing Palestinian land, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by The Intercept.

The memo also instructs reporters not to use the word Palestine “except in very rare cases” and to steer clear of the term “refugee camps” to describe areas of Gaza historically settled by internally displaced Palestinians, who fled from other parts of Palestine during previous Israeli–Arab wars. The areas are recognized by the United Nations as refugee camps and house hundreds of thousands of registered refugees.

The memo — written by Times standards editor Susan Wessling, international editor Philip Pan, and their deputies — “offers guidance about some terms and other issues we have grappled with since the start of the conflict in October.”

While the document is presented as an outline for maintaining objective journalistic principles in reporting on the Gaza war, several Times staffers told The Intercept that some of its contents show evidence of the paper’s deference to Israeli narratives.

Sii aqriso.

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Which is worse, Israel’s lies about Gaza or its western backers who repeat those lies?

Useful idiots keep parroting provably false Israeli talking points. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me...

“The Italians having a proverb,” wrote the 17th-century British courtier Anthony Weldon, “‘He that deceives me once, its his fault; but if twice, it’s my fault.’”

Today, we commonly summarize that old Italian proverb as: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Since the horrific 7 October attack, the far-right Israeli government and its army of propagandists have deceived and fooled Western politicians and journalists not once or twice, but multiple times.

There are almost too many lies, distortions and falsehoods to keep track of. Forty babies beheaded by Hamas? Never happened. Babies baked in ovens or hung on clothes lines? False. A Bond-villain-style lair hidden under al-Shifa hospital? Nope. Palestinians in Gaza caught on camera faking their injuries? A complete fabrication. The list of Hamas hostage-takers found on a wall in the al-Rantisi children’s hospital? Sorry, no, it was just the days of the week on a calendar in Arabic.

How about the atrocities that Israeli forces have been credibly accused of, that they then loudly denied, and then later … were found to be responsible for? The flour massacre in February? The bombing of the refugee convoy last October? The white phosphorus attack in southern Lebanon, also in October?

As my friend the Palestinian-American analyst Omar Baddar laid out in a now-viral tweet:

Timeline on repeat:

• Israel commits massacre

• Israel denies massacre

• Media says we don’t know who committed massacre

• investigation reveals Israel committed massacre

• News cycle moves on

• average person doesn’t know Israel systematically committing massacres.

Yet the Israelis keep telling lies and our political and media elites in the west keep getting fooled. Shame on them.

Perhaps no Israeli lie, however, has been more damaging, more destructive, more deadly, than the claim that Unrwa – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the main organization responsible for providing aid in Gaza – has been colluding with Hamas and, worse, that 12 Unrwa employees participated in the terror attack on 7 October. Why? Because it was a lie so consequential that it helped lay the groundwork for a devastating, ongoing, man-made famine inside the Gaza Strip.

In late January, after a relentless anti-Unrwa campaign by Israel and its proxies in the west which culminated in the unproven accusation that Unrwa employees were involved in the 7 October atrocities, 16 donor countries, including Unrwa’s main financial sponsor, the United States, suspended around $450m funding to the agency.

Israel’s false narrative on Unrwa.

The Republican senator Ted Cruz, for instance, tweeted about Unrwa six times between January and March, claiming the agency “supports terrorism”, is “compromised by Hamas” and had “at least 12 employees … involved in the October 7th terrorist attack”.

David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, said it was “long past time to abolish UNRWA”, and accused it of “providing material support to a terrorist organization”.

Unrwa, wrote the neoconservative columnist Bret Stephens in the New York Times, “appears to be infested with terrorists and their sympathizers” and “should be abolished”.

They were all wrong; all spreading lies; all peddling Israeli propaganda.

And, sadly, it wasn’t just Republicans and rightwingers. There were also a number of House Democrats who blindly repeated the Netanyahu government’s baseless claims about Unrwa.

For example, the Democratic congressman Josh Gottheimer, like Ted Cruz, issued half a dozen tweets attacking UNRWA between January and March, declaring that “the evidence is clear: @UNRWA employees supported Hamas on Oct. 7.” The Democratic congressman Brad Sherman said he applauded the Biden administration’s decision to suspend funding to UNRWA and claimed the agency’s staff had “been exposed as terrorists”. The congressman Ritchie Torres tweeted that Unrwa had been “governing Gaza at the behest of Hamas”.

None of these prominent Democrats have retracted these false claims on their Twitter accounts since the release of the independent review last week. Nor have they even mentioned the results of that review.

Worst of all, however, was the statement made by Antony Blinken, the Democratic secretary of state, on 29 January, when he admitted that the United States had not “had the ability to investigate [the allegations] ourselves” but then went on to call those unverified Israeli allegations “highly, highly credible”.

Yet only a couple of weeks later, the US’s own National Intelligence Council said it assessed with only “low confidence” that Unrwa staffers had participated in the 7 October attack. (The US intelligence community defines “low confidence” as “scant, questionable, or very fragmented” – the exact opposite of “highly, highly credible”.)

Blinken has yet to apologize for, or even retract, his false claim.

Ask yourself: what’s worse? The Israeli government’s lies, or the people in the west who keep believing and amplifying them? The Israeli government’s unsubstantiated accusations against Unrwa, or the western governments that then embraced them as fact and instantly cut off funding to the biggest aid agency in Gaza?

Israel has been starving the people of Gaza. Shame on the fools who have helped them justify it.

Mahdi Xasan - The Guardian

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